Profiles: Public Practice, London

Profiles: Public Practice, London

Public planning authorities can struggle to find the resources and expertise to deal with the manufacturing sector, leaving businesses feeling undervalued and excluded from planning decisions. 

Building capacity in for public authorities

Public Practice is a new not-for-profit organisation that seeks to improve the quality and equality of London’s built environment. They identified that a lack of capacity in local authority planning departments is affecting outcomes, in response their programme places built environment experts (called Associates) on placements within local authority planning departments. This enables local authorities to build their capacity and provides an opportunity for the experts to build their knowledge of public planning. In addition, the network created by the programme builds research and shares knowledge. 

The work undertaken by the Associates is diverse and covers all aspects of public planning. However, within the first cohort several Associates are looking at the challenge of accommodating industry in the city. London has experienced severe loss of industrial space over the past twenty years and this is significantly affecting local manufacturing businesses. Planning officials have been criticised for allowing this loss to take place. Building capacity and understanding of industry and industrial space within local authorities is a positive route to addressing these concerns.

Stakeholders: Public authorities, private developers and architects, not-for-profit built environment organisations.